THE JOHN SEE SOUNDTRACKS
CD including the full soundtrack from MOVE FORWARD and all soundtracks from the limited-edition picturedisc LP THE JOHN SEE SERIES released on RRRecords
Stunning and legendary material from veteran art-experimentalist Duncan. Some of this stuff is so dark and spooky and inexplicably visceral that it's hard to listen to it without taking a break. These are the infamous John See Soundtracks, along with other performance pieces dating as far back as 1984. There is an excellent full-color booklet with it, explaining the works and their performance. Whats the most striking at first listen? That would be Duncan utlizing pronographic moans and heavy-breathing within ambient soundscapes. This is certainly sexy in a mysterious way, but then these sounds just become haunting, like voices of the dead, bodiless moans absently pretending satisfaction. Then they end up somewhere near the mechanical, not even human at all. Extended pieces take the sounds of sex further, with one using a very strange, almost beastial male-noise, effected and distorted and repeated until it becomes something else. As when you repeat a word over and over, it loses it's meaning. And all this is under thin sheets of tense ambient drones, so it really digs its way into you. But there are pieces that have no identification with the sexual as well... and these become the unbelievably heavy, powerful ascendencies of sound, increasing and building into frightening, violent walls. This is truly breakthrough material, up there with legendary albums such as Permafrost, I.O.S.'s Historical or Randy Grief's Alice In Wonderland, purely for it's absolute power and ability to create that tectonic movement within the listeners psyche. Do not miss this one.
Vince Harrigan, Manifold Records
Track included on Tulpas
Released on Selektion
"Unlikely to manage in a few lines a description of the luxurious five-CD tulpas box (Selektion), more than to say 'booklet containing reworkings of selected pages from repetorio of RLW (Ralf Wehowski) , historical German electroacoustic investigator already active in 1980 with the group and P16.D4, recently the subject of unexpected attentions (participation in Upgrade & Afterlife by Gastr del Sol, the third place of Pullover in Japanese indie charts behind Coldcut and Bjork). about fifty artists of similar sensitivity were asked to rework his original compositions, giving way to personal enjoyment and diverse hermeneutical methods and interventions, with a definite penchant for minimalist stripping and microtonal fading processes (some participants really in great shape: John Duncan, Jim O'Rourke, Giancarlo Toniutti ...) and few concessions to the brutista fascination (the noise of the sacrificial jap contingent: Merzbow, Aube, Kimihide Kusafuka. ..). Design, packaging and content worthy of applause.
- Nicola Catalano, RUMORI (Number 70, November 1997)
This review in Italian